US Navy turns to biofuels in 300 million-litre purchase

US Navy turns to biofuels in 300 million-litre purchase

Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest

In Washington, the Department of the Navy has obtained 300 million litres of cost-competitive, drop-in biofuels blends in support of the launch of the Great Green Fleet, which will officially debut on 20 January in San Diego at a launch ceremony.

The fuel provided meets the F-76 marine diesel specification — somewhat different and more complex than conventional diesel because of the at-sea requirement for fuels with a higher flash point. The price for the fuel to the DLA is (approx.) USD 0.50 per litre.

Put another way, the Navy will be running on the fuel that Islamic State can’t make or seize. It’s cost-competitive, drop-in, non-food, next-gen, advanced renewable fuel.

The fuel will be used by at least one Carrier Strike Group, according to sources. There will be more information released about specific ships that may be carrying fuels at the time of the launch ceremony.

Overall, the 2016 Great Green Fleet initiative will be a year-long event in 2016, and will highlight the deployment of ships with three or more energy conservation measures or alternative energy for propulsion, and deploying aircraft with two or more energy conservation measures or alternative energy propulsion.

The 77 million gallon (300 litre) initial contract for the Navy’s Rocky Mountain contains a 10% renewable diesel blend, made using the Honeywell Renewable Jet process from domestic US feedstocks. Based on a 10 per cent blend, the neat biofuels portion is 7.76 million gallons, which represents one of the largest-ever single-buyer purchase of cost-competitive, advanced biofuels.

The Navy concluded in 2009 that expanding military energy sources improves the reliability of its overall fuel supply, adds resilience against supply disruptions, and gives the military more fuel options to maintain its readiness and defend the national security interests of the United States. Following that determination, the Navy embarked on a lengthy set of aircraft and ship certifications, including an extended demonstration of advanced fuel blends at the 2012 RIMPAC exercises.

The news also marks a remarkable milestone for the renewable fuel industry, which is now producing cost-competitive, at-scale, domestically-produced, non-food, advanced biofuels.

Read more at the Biofuels Digest.

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